Even though it would make life easier at times, I only enjoy homemade versions of certain kitchen basics. I’ve tried brands of store-bought applesauce and chicken stock but I’m never pleased. I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s just better (and often healthier) to make them from scratch. I posed this same issue — what ingredients MUST you have homemade — to registered dietitians (RDs) across the country and got an overwhelming number of responses. A HUGE thanks to all the RDs that weighed in on this hot topic.
Homemade Must Have #1: Salad Dressing
This was far and away the biggest pet peeve among nutrition pros – nobody cares for all the extra sugar, salt and other processed ingredients swimming in bottled salad dressings.
Janet Helm, MS, RD, blogger at Nutrition Unplugged, author of The Food Lover’s Healthy Habits Cookbook speaks for many of us when she says:
“I just can’t bring myself to buy any bottled salad dressings. It’s just so easy to make your own vinaigrette, which will always taste better and fresher. Plus, you can control the ingredients when you make your own.”
Barbara Boyce, DHSc, RD, LDN gives her homemade dressing a kick:
“My favorite is a jalapeno ranch dressing with a lot less fat and salt than store-bought. My husband and I like ranch dressing with a zip to it, so I add jalapeno peppers to the mix.”
Christine M. Palumbo, MBA, RD adjunct faculty member at Benedictine University opts for the simplest of dressings:
“I can’t stand 99% of the commercial bottled dressings or those served in restaurants. They tend to be sweetened and have a cloying “chemical” taste. No, thank you. My homemade saves money and tastes better. It’s a simple blend of extra virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt, freshly ground black pepper, and dried oregano.”